Sunday, May 31, 2009

What Do You Get When You Cross Belfast Spide With Tagalog?

This probably wouldn't make sense if you're not familiar with Tagalog. But damn, talk about butchering a language! What a knee slapper! :D

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Beautiful Day in Belfast!

Not a cloud in the sky! I was blinded by the sun today. I was also blinded by the sea of shirtless pasty white men out there. Bare bellies, and hairy nipples abound!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fatso Manifesto: Mindful Eating

Today marks the first week of my weight loss journey and...

Holy Crap! My jeans are already loose! These are the same jeans I bought a month ago. When I tried them on, I really had to suck in my gut to button them up. I was in tears that I still had to do this even though they were a size larger. Now, I can button them up without fainting. They are hella loose, so loose I can peel them off without unbuttoning or unfastening the zipper.

The weird thing is. I don't feel like I'm dieting. I'm grazing like a cow and I'm not counting calories. I'm CONSTANTLY eating throughout the day. I even have to remind myself that I need to eat sometimes. I'm eating small meals every 3 hours and I notice the better food choices I make, the more I can eat. So for a mid-day snack, instead of reaching for those mini-rolls, I eat a really big bowl of salad enough to feel satisfied.

My biggest hurdle this week was dealing with my carb cravings. I have the worst sweet tooth. Whenever I'd have these cravings, I eat fruit or drink a fruit smoothie or a chai vanilla latte (which is SO good that it doesn't need to be sweetened). This did the trick.

I've been drinking water like a fish! At least 8 glasses of water a day. I've also been drinking at least 2 cups of green tea a day. As a result, I've been peeing every 5 minutes. Most likely the pounds I've lost are water weight. (I have no idea how much I weigh now since I refuse to step on the scale and become obsessed with numbers.)

Exercising. I'm taking this slow since I've been sedentary. At least 30 minute walks rain or shine. For the past few days I upped the ante, and have worked out on Craig's stationary bike for 45 minutes.

I'm doing well with eating fresh food. (But boy is it expensive!) This week I've been on an Asian food kick and have been cooking Asian inspired meals for dinner such as...

Thai Lettuce Wrap with Peanut Sauce

Terriyaki Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry with Brown Rice

I also notice I feel as if I have a lot more energy now and my mood has lifted. Before I used to feel weighed down, slow and icky. For the first time in months, I feel really good about myself!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I am Embarassed to Call Myself a Californian

Picture courtesy of

Come on California, get with the program! If Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington did it, why can't you?

Prop 8 which states "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California" was officially part of the California constitution when it passed last year in November 2008. Of course, the LGBT community was outraged that California voted for this proposition. As a result, 36,000 same-sex marriages that occurred before the prop 8 ban were declared null and void. They. Were. Pissed.

Prop 8 was taken up to the California supreme court to determine whether it was valid and, if deemed invalid, to amend the constitution. After months of deliberation, the decision was announced yesterday that Prop 8 was NOT overturned BUT the supreme court ruled that the 36,000 same-sex marriages prior to prop 8 are valid but the state will still refuse to legitimize any future same-sex marriages. I understand the court simply upheld the will of the people. The majority voted for Prop 8, it passed. Well, you know what, the will of the people are WRONG. I am surprised a majority of Californians are so narrow-minded and stupid. (Well ok, not that surprised since they voted Arnie into office as Governor.) I honestly don't see a problem with same-sex marriage. What right do I have to tell other people how to live their lives? It is their life and it has nothing to do with anyone else!

Hell, even Northern Ireland is progressive on this issue, renowned for being a politically ass-backwards and fundamentally Christian country that it is! Despite the fact that Northern Ireland is fucked up they got one thing right...the gay community has the right to marry here!

What does this say about you, California?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A (Rare) Belfast Morning

It's a nice day! Blue skies...the sun is shining! I have obviously woken up in a different country!

During this time of year, the sun rises around 5AM and the sun sets at 9PM. I just love the long summer days here! I pray, pray, pray that it won't rain as much as it did last summer! *knocks wood*

Monday, May 25, 2009

Belfast is a Tough Town

Wanna know why Northern Ireland has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe? Watch this...

Part One of MacIntyre's Toughest Towns

Part Two of MacIntyre's Toughest Towns

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spring Continental Market

The Continental Market is this weekend at "Shitty Hall". I made the conscious decision not to go for fear of excess calories.

Friday, May 22, 2009

What's a Bin Hoker?

Bin Hoker:

A derogatory insult from Northern Ireland applied to anyone who attempts to remove an item or material from the trash.

"You're a wee belfast bin hoker, wee oul man hokin' through the bins for shit."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Traditional Tea Ceremony in Northern Ireland

Photo courtesy of

The Japanese have chado, "the way of tea". The Russians have their Samovar. The English have "high tea". The Indians have chai.

Tea as a beverage has been adopted in many different cultures and many different countries have evolved their own tea traditions. In Northern Ireland, tea is the staple beverage in households. They also have their own special tea ceremony which goes something like this...

Traditional setting: Typical Belfast living room on the Shankill - leather 3 piece sofa, sky sports news blaring from the flat screen tv.

Ceremonial guest enters living room, plops on leather recliner and shouts down the house, "Any fuckin' chance of a cuppa tea?"

Host from the kitchen responds, "Hold your fuckin' horses! I'm sortin' out the messages!"

Ceremonial guest retorts, "Will ya fuckin' hurry up?!? Fuck sake the match is about to start!"

*Loud ruckus of banging pots and pans from the kitchen*

A few minutes later, Host walks into the living room with a cup of milky tea, "Here's your fuckin' tea! Get it yer fuckin' self next time, flat ballix!"

Monday, May 18, 2009

North West 200

The North West 200 was this weekend. The NorthWest is an annual bike race where lunatics dangerously fly through public roads along Norn Iron's coast.

Unfortunately, we never got the chance to make it this year since Craig had to work. We never made it last year either. I was kissing asphalt like the guy in the video. And I wasn't even in the race! I walked away with a sprained thumb and Craig walked away unscathed.

We were definitely watched over that day. Somebody up there likes us.

Friday, May 15, 2009

My Plan of Action for Weight Loss

1) Drink 64oz of water a day.

2) No processed foods; eat fresh.

3) Cut sugar and excess salt.

4) Hang out in the produce section of the supermarket.

5) Eat every 3 hours to keep my blood sugar stable.

6) Eat whole grains: brown rice instead of white rice, whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta, whole wheat bread instead of white bread.

7) Portion control: 50% of your plate should be vegetables, 25% should be protein, 25% carbs.

8) Eat a balanced diet: 1-2 servings of protein, 3-5 servings of vegetables, 2-4 servings of fruit, 1-2 servings of dairy, 6 servings of whole grains, 1 serving of good fat (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated: almonds, olive oil, avocado, salmon etc) daily.

9) Maximum daily calorie intake is 1600.

10) Exercise 30 minutes a day; the more you do, the more you burn.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Believe it or Not...

I used to be a student in her class. I studied flamenco and bellydance for many years. To think just 3 years ago, I used to be fit. 4 hours of dance classes 6 days a week does that to you. Down the line I thought being a cubicle slave was more important, I injured my back on the job, I stopped dancing and packed on the pounds. Then I moved to Belfast and now I look like something like this...

Back then, I never subscribed to an expensive gym membership. I wasn't on any fad diets and I didn't starve myself. I actually ate whatever I wanted in moderation and burned more calories than I took in. Common sense, right? Then why is it so difficult?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

One Year Down!

Today marks my one year anniversary since I moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Oddly enough, I have no idea what happened that day. Neither does Craig. I think we went to Tesco to buy ingredients for making spaghetti bolognese. It is all a gray fog. You know, like a really bad car crash you don't remember happening. And don't get me started on the events that followed (ie here, here, here, and here.)

So this is me a year later, engaged to be married and many many stones heavier (notice I used stones instead of lbs. I'm getting a hang of this expat thing). My first anniversary gift should warrant a visit to Weight Watchers. Do they even hold Weight Watchers meetings here?

First things first...maybe I should stop engorging myself on chew-its...

and step away from MIL's evil snack drawer...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lady Says "Aloha!"

Lady thinks she's in Hawaii with all the pleasant weather we've been having. The poor dog is confused.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hot or Not?

Belfast girls on a night out

Friday, May 8, 2009

*Sigh* I Miss Oakland

"Dat's only in the mownin'. The whistles go WOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

RFLMAO pissing in my pants. Classic!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Every once and awhile my sadistic friend likes to email me pics to remind me what the UK is severely lacking and what I am missing from home. This takes the cake.

What a bitch!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Is Tesco Going Sectarian?

I'd like to know who the marketing geniuses of Tesco are and if they really are familar with the term "brand loyalty"? If they honestly think that people in Ireland (North and South) will trade Barry's Tea for PG Tips, they have got to be kidding! Who wants to drink dishwater?!? In my humble opinion, Irish products are much better quality than British!

I wonder if they actually did the market research and got a focus group together? This just doesn't seem right to me. What are your opinions on this?

DOZENS OF grocery brands which are popular in the Republic will start disappearing from the shelves of Tesco stores from Tuesday as the retail giant launches a major restructuring of its stock.

Industry sources say many familiar brands will be removed from stores close to the Border and in at least one new store in Cork from next week as Tesco seeks to more closely mirror the product offerings and prices available in its British stores.

Up to 13 stores in Border counties as well as a large Tesco Extra outlet in Cork will initially be affected by the change aimed at combating the continued migration of shoppers from the Republic across the Border in search of better value.

Consumers in the Republic are considered more brand conscious than shoppers in other jurisdictions, but the economic downturn, coupled with a weakened sterling, has seen British chains such as Sainsburys and Asda operating in Border towns profit from a dramatic increase in cross-Border business.

When they travel North, consumers from south of the Border are willing to buy cheaper but less familiar products and Tesco is understood to be keen to stress-test this shifting brand loyalty.

Some established Irish brands will retain a presence on the shelves but many will see their prominence significantly downgraded as the retailer moves to wean shoppers off certain products. While the move will initially affect only a small number of stores, Tesco is understood to be keen to implement the changes across the State.

Camile O’Flanagan of Barry’s Tea confirmed that the range and amount of its products stocked by Tesco Ireland’s northeastern shops as well as one Tesco outlet in Cork will fall. She said some of its familiar brands would have significantly smaller displays while others would be dropped altogether. “We are a major player in the Irish tea market and it would be a concern for us if people could not get our products.”

In the affected branches, Tesco has adopted UK planograms – the layout plans illustrating how and where products should be displayed – so the stores will now replicate the layout and design of stores in Britain.

Tesco declined to comment but a source familiar with the retail giant’s operation confirmed it would be making “a significant announcement” on Tuesday.

He insisted it would be more focused on lower prices than range and denied it would negatively impact on products sourced from the Republic. -Irish Times

Blog Update

If you take a look at the sidebar under "Who are We?", you will notice I have added an author to this blog. So if and when he decides to post (because you know Ulstermen are just useless bastards), please don't be gentle. *snicker*

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Northern Ireland, the Next Hollywood?

This could be promising...Maybe Craig can leave his miserable dead-end job, and work for the tv industry. I think he would really enjoy it since he's such a film buff. Craig, whaddya think? Wanna work for HBO?

THE AMERICAN company behind television hits such as The Sopranos and Sex and the City is to make a pilot programme in Northern Ireland which has the potential to create hundreds of jobs and generate millions of pounds for the North’s economy.

HBO, the US’s leading pay cable network, plans to begin work on A Game of Thrones in October at locations around Northern Ireland and at the Paint Hall studio in the Titanic Quarter of east Belfast.

A Game of T hrones, described as a medieval fantasy, is the first novel in a series of seven books entitled A Song of Ice and Fire , by George RR Martin. Americans David Benioff and Dan Weiss, who met while studying at Trinity College Dublin, are writing and producing the television adaptation.

The pilot project was confirmed after a meeting between First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with HBO during their recent US visit around St Patrick’s Day.

If the pilot is successful it is expected that each novel will require 10 episodes of filming. According to political and business sources the full series could create up to 600 jobs and be worth up to £20 million annually to the economy.

A Game of Thrones is part of an epic series set in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, a land that is reminiscent of medieval Europe. Rick Hill, chairman of Northern Ireland Screen, which with Invest Northern Ireland is providing £1.6 million in funding, described it as “ Lord of the Rings meets The Sopranos ”.

HBO’s decision is yet another boost for Northern Ireland’s film industry. The news of the project follows on Universal Studios’ decision to shoot a multimillion-dollar fantasy film, Your Highness , a comedy about an arrogant, lazy prince and his more heroic brother, in Belfast. Your Highness will be shot entirely on location this summer at the Paint Hall where City of Ember , another fantasy, starring Bill Murray, was filmed.

Moyra Lock, NI Screen’s head of marketing, said that despite the recession the facilities on offer and the relatively low strength of sterling against the dollar and euro made Northern Ireland an attractive place in which to make films.

She believed the future for the industry both locally and in terms of enticing the big international companies here was very strong.

Mr Robinson said the project was a “major coup”. He added that HBO was a “worldwide brand” which had an “enviable reputation for offering very high-quality, original programming, receiving critical acclaim for its productions”.

Mr McGuinness said “this is a further boost for this sector and evidence that even in the midst of a difficult economic climate, we can attract world-leading companies to our shores”. -Irish Times

I've Made Some Adjustments to This Article.

LONDON (Reuters Life!) – Holidaymakers, be warned: London has the worst food, Paris is the most overrated and Brussels Belfast is the most boring, according to a survey of what travelers think about European cities.

In the poll of nearly 2,400 travelers, by website TripAdvisor (, the British capital Belfast was voted the dirtiest in Europe, home to the worst-dressed and the most expensive small-minded, racist, and backward people you could ever meet.

Paris did not come off any better, with travelers saying it was the least friendly city and the second-most expensive.

But both popular destinations redeemed themselves in the online poll, with Paris voted as having the best cuisine and best-dressed people, while London was seen as having the best nightlife, best public parks and most free attractions.

"Europe's capital cities all have their highs and lows, but no other continent offers travelers' such a wealth of culture and sights within such short distances," TripAdvisor spokesman Luke Fredberg said in a statement.

"Despite London Belfast emerging as the dirtiest and most expensive backward city, its fantastic free attractions such as the Harland & Wolff Cranes and lovely murals prove that you don't need to be a millionaire in order to enjoy the capital this shithole."

Venice beat both Paris and Rome as Europe's most romantic destination, but it was also voted the third-most expensive, after Paris and London.

Traveler seeking friendly locals should go to Dublin, while the health-conscious may prefer Denmark's Copenhagen, voted the Europe's cleanest city.

Prague was picked as the best bargain destination, while people seeking visual treats should head for Spain's Barcelona, but avoid Warsaw in Poland, which were seen as the cities with the best and worst architecture respectively.

And the most boring city? Travelers voted for the Belgian capital Brussels Belfast again, with Switzerland's Zurich a close-runner up.

P.S. I'm in a bad mood.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Political Parties in Northern Ireland

Unionist parties

* Ulster Unionist Party
* Democratic Unionist Party
* Progressive Unionist Party
* United Kingdom Independence Party
* United Unionist Coalition
* Traditional Unionist Voice

Republican or nationalist parties

* Social Democratic and Labour Party
* Sinn Féin
* Fianna Fáil

Non-registered parties or organisations

* Republican Sinn Féin
* éirígí
* Irish Republican Socialist Party

Supporting complete independence

* Ulster Third Way


* Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
* Communist Party of Ireland
* Socialist Party
* Socialist Workers Party
* Conservative Party (Although "Conservative Party" is short for "Conservative and Unionist Party", in the Northern Ireland Assembly Election, 2003 they pledged that if they were elected, they would not designate themselves as "Unionists" in a Northern Ireland context)
* Green Party
* Labour – Federation of Labour Groups aka "Labour", but unrelated to either the Labour Party in either the UK or the Republic of Ireland (This may change now that the British Labour Party has voted to allow NI residents to join it)
* Socialist Environmental Alliance
* Ulster Christian Democratic Party
* Vote for Yourself Party <----YES!!!
* Workers Party of Ireland

Other UK parties registered to stand in Northern Ireland

Many other parties have formally registered to contest elections in Northern Ireland but have no serious record of standing in elections there at the time of writing. The following parties on the official register do, however, have a record of standing in other parts of the United Kingdom and may stand in Northern Ireland in the near future:

* National Front
* Official Monster Raving Loony Party <---No Way! Hahaha!!! :D
* Respect – The Unity Coalition
* Veritas
* United Kingdom Independence Party
* British National Party

-From Wikipedia

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pinoy Pride Muthafuckas!!!

Pacquiao Flattens Hatten in Boxing Showdown (Photo courtesy of AFP)

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AFP) — Philippine southpaw Manny Pacquiao stopped Britain's Ricky Hatton in the second round here to match a boxing record by taking a title in his sixth different weight class.

The Filipino superstar knocked the Englishman down twice in the first round and finished off Hatton with a powerful left hand to the head that sent Hatton flat on his back.

Referee Kenny Bayless looked at the unmoving Hatton and waved his hands without even counting to 10, giving Pacquiao the victory after two minutes and 59 seconds of the second round.

Pacquiao won Hatton's International Boxing Organization junior welterweight title.

Pacquiao, seen as the world pound-for-pound champion, won his 10th fight in a row, improving to 49-3 with two drawn with his 37th early stoppage. Hatton fell to 45-2, losing at junior welterweight for the first time in his career.

My dad and my brother are probably dancing in the streets right now. Can you say owned? Ricky "the hitman" has been hit! ENGULUND, ENGULUND, ENGULUND! :P

For a more detailed account of this ass-kicking session, click here.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

3 Reasons My Fiance is the Weirdest Man in Northern Ireland

1) He loathes football (that is soccer to you yanks). He could give a rat's ass. This is unheard of. You're not regarded as a man in Northern Ireland if you're not into football. He thinks its crap the way people revolve their lives around the sport. He's bored to death of hearing it talked about day in and day out at work. And I mean that is ALL men talk about around here. I don't blame him. Rooting for a team here isn't like rooting for the Chicago Bears. A football team here represents your identity and reason for existence (or lack thereof). Here it's taken to another level because it's sectarian and people have been killed over football matches. Celtic = Taigs. Rangers = Orange Bastards. Craig thinks it's futile so he watches the MotoGP instead.

2) For an Irishman, he sure doesn't drink that much. I mean if you give him a 4 pack of Guinness, he can drink all 4 no problem and when we're at a pub he can down some pints one after the other without falling over pissed drunk(sometimes). But this is like once every two months, not every. single. weekend. like a lot of the guys do here. The only time I saw him pissed was when he broke his ankle and I gave him shit for it. After that, never again!

How much you drink and how drunk you get (like passed out in the kitchen type drunk) is a measure of how good a time you had that night.

3) He has a face mask on as I type. No, not a balaklava! I've never known a man who pays extra good care of his skin than he does. Don't get me started on the shaving. He disappears in the blackhole that is the bathroom and I'm not to disturb his sacred time. And he insists he do it the old fashioned way, with a real blade and a badger brush. AND it must be from The Art of Shaving! This I don't mind so much because his face is as smooth as a baby's butt. Yummy!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Belfast Spide 101

Speaking of swine...Anything and everything you've ever wanted to know about the Belfast Chav or Spide (both are acceptable and interchangable terms for the dreg of Belfast society), which is a whole different breed from the rest of the UK...

Come to Belfast! Thats what the advert says... but let me assure you, you better bring protection.

Its chav-central my friends and the scum are everywhere. The main chav hangouts are Royal avenue and the adjacent streets off it - jeezus, we even have 2 jjbs on the same street, not 3 shops apart!! And theres a jjb megastore at the end of Royal Avenue as well!!

Of course, being N.Ireland, we also have a Rangers and a Celtic store almost beside each other so naturally you can find them there (although I won't slag, I'm not sectarian).

However, regardless of religion, its the gear they wear that really gets me. Nike, adidas etc coupled with cheap gold soverign rings and mr t style chains - a grand total of about 20 quid out of the nearest shit jewellers. Add a shite 'tache and you've got the whole package.

Then, we have the chavettes or 'bitches' as the males like to call them. Now, some of these girls are quite good looking, or would be if they didn't cake on fake tan, gold hula hoop earrings, and wear crappy towelling tracksuits that leave little to the imagination (especially the fat ones).

Add in a chavling brat in a push chair and you have the idea - not too much different from other cities. The real difference is that many of these scum bags are in a paramilitary organisation so that makes giving them a good kicking problematic - you would be a bit worried about getting shot.

If you're going out on the piss, you have to watch where you go but its easy to know where not to go and for anyone thinking about visiting, here's where NOT to go:

Lavery's, Dempsey's, Upstairs in the Bot on a Friday and the Network. I may have missed a few but those are the main ones.

By the way, we have a few names for Chavs:

Spicks, Spides, Steeks, Kev's (universally known) and cunts. There it is.


Teenage pregnancy, village centre brawls, bus shelter copulating…why these rituals were de regure, a mere insight into the social anthropological workings of the unevolved, nothing too threatening or surprising.

It was therefore with a care-free, easy going manner that I originally regarded the chav population of my new home, BELFAST. At first only subtle differences could be spotted by the naked eye. For example in Belfast the term is Spide, for the male of the species, Milly for the female (a interesting verbal distinction is made between the two sexes, which is probably for the best, as generations of in-breeding is making a visual identification more and more difficult). Also, the tipple of choice for the discerning chav, is, like many of his Scottish cousins, the fermented cough syrup that is Buckfast. For those you unfamiliar with this little pallet freshener, it is a 15% vol ‘Tonic’ Wine, priced at aprox £5.00 a bottle/£2.50 half and available at pretty much every offie or supermarket in Northern Ireland, with the exception of Sainsbury’s. Featured in Rab C Nesbit and Trainspotting, the wine is essentially liquid speed, ensuring that no matter how much you drink, or what time you pass out at afterwards, you’ll be up bright as a button at 6am, looking to chin some Goths. Why, many a good night at Shine or the Nerve Centre has been had under the influence of a bottle of bo, or Lurgan Champagne as it is often known, and a couple of pills courtesy of a local paramility group.

Anyway, on early inspection the Spide population appeared to be pretty much as standard. Low, but typically so. Oh how wrong I was. The question I throw out to you now is how on earth do you bring out the utter worst in the utter worst? Why throw in a good old dose of sectarianism that’s how. In almost tribal fashion the Belfast Spides deck themselves out in either Celtic or Rangers strips, and stick pretty much to there respective ghettos, which are of course territorially marked with Tri Colours or Union Jacks, and various wall murals. Violence, as with all sects of chavadom, is expected, but remember this is Belfast, where people can and do have guns, and can and do throw petrol bombs at each other. Need I say more.

On the morning of 12th July Spides of a Protestant/Loyalist persuasion, flock out onto the streets of Belfast to drink Buckfast and Tennants, get steemin and support British marches that often insist on walking into predominately Irish areas. They then set fire to a number of bonfires throughout the city. This is encouraged by some politicians and church officals. I'll repeat that: they encourage the spides to set fire to things. On the evening of the 12th July Spides of a Catholic/Republican persuasion will drink Buckfast and Harp, set fire to vans/lorrys etc and fight with the peelers. Pretty much everyone else gets the hell out of Belfast for at least four days in and around this time.

So the next time some wee chav pesters you for a tab, or gives you grief because you won’t go to the offie for him, don’t get pissed off. Just smile and think to yourself, it could be worse, I could be living in Belfast.